FORT SCOTT — No. 8 Labette dominated Fort Scott 97-51 on Wednesday night as the Cardinals remained undefeated on the season after playing its third game since a team-wide quarantine put their campaign on pause.
“We just wanted to play fast, get back in shape and they played extremely hard,” Labette head coach Mitch Rolls said. “We’re still trying to sew up some mistakes, but the girls did a good job.”
The Cardinals raced out to a 13-0 lead before the Greyhounds signaled for a timeout, setting the tone for the rest of the night. While Labette was able to go deep into its bench, Fort Scott suited seven players including two track athletes.
“It made us a lot more comfortable,” Rolls said. “Once we knew we were going to play, we were excited. It showed in that first quarter. We were eager to play.”
Labette improved its record to 12-0 overall and 3-0 in Kansas Jayhawk Conference action. Fort Scott dipped to 4-9 overall and 2-4 in KJCCC play.
Nia Jordan came off the bench and delivered a double-double for Labette with 20 points on 8-of-19 shooting to go along with 17 rebounds. 11 of Jordan’s 17 boards came on the offensive glass.
“She played her butt off and will always be the best player on the floor when she wants to be,” Rolls said. “That was a bad shooting night for her. She could’ve had 30. But she played really hard.”
Ishuana Hunter also gave the Cardinals a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
“She’s going to keep putting up these numbers,” Rolls said. “She dominates inside.”
In total, six Cardinals registered double-figure scoring marks — Jordan, Hunter, Jayla Smith (14), Ariah Powell (12), Tamiah Robinson (10) and Brianna Randolph (10).
Leikyn Walker led Fort Scott with 17 points while Taylor Tschirhart added 16.
Labette has been through a COVID-19 ordeal in its fight to get its season rolling again. The Cardinals were shut down at the end of February after multiple players tested positive for the virus.
The Cardinals didn’t return to action until March 17, when Labette won two games in as many days against Hesston. During the shutdown, the NJCAA stripped the Cardinals of their No. 1 ranking, which they had maintained all season.
“We’re just wanting to get the kids into a rhythm,” Rolls said. “We’ll be ready come postseason time. If we play hard down the stretch, good things will happen.”
Labette faces No. 5 Kansas City Kansas on the road on Saturday in a matchup between two top-10 teams.
“They play a different brand of basketball,” Rolls said. “They’re more perimeter oriented and we like to throw the ball inside. So we’ve got to do a great job defensively. It’ll be a big challenge.”
No. 8 Labette 97, Fort Scott 51
Labette: 32 15 25 25 — 97
Fort Scott: 9 6 18 18 — 51
Labette: Jayla Smith 14, Christina Faison 2, Tamiah Robinson 10, Ariah Powell 12, Ishuana Hunter 17, Brianna Randolph 10, Jordine Moody 2, Nia Jordan 20, Makaila Plaster-Brown 6, Niyamisa Trail 2, Wilnie Joseph 2
Fort Scott: Madison Myers 2, Leikyn Walker 17, Brooklyn Zoeller 4, Amber Covington 12, Taylor Tschirhart 16